What is land ownership?

 Land ownership is the right and interest which a person has in land to the exclusion of others. It is the independent right of exclusive enjoyment and control over land for the purpose of deriving there from all advantages required by the reasonable needs of the holder of the right and the promotion of the general welfare but subject to the restrictions imposed by law and the rights of others

What are the kinds of ownership?

    1. Full ownership refers to all the rights of the owner. This may include the right to possess, use and enjoy the property, to the fruits, accessories, to consume the thing by its use, dispose or alienate or vindicate and recover. The law has given the owner these right by virtue of this provision:

      Art. 428. The owner has the right to enjoy and dispose of a thing, without other limitations than those established by law. The owner has also a right of action against the holder and possessor of the thing in order to recover it. (348a)

 Full ownership may enjoy these bundle of rights as elements or attributes of ownership:

 a. Right to Possess (jus possedendi)

b. Right to Use and Enjoy (jus utendi)

c. Right to Receive the Fruits & Accessories (jus fruendi)

d. Right to Abuse and Consume (jus abutendi)

e. Right to Dispose or Alienate (jus disponendi)

f. Right to Recover Possession and/or Ownership (jus vindicandi)

g. Right to Construct any work or make plantation or excavation

h. Right to have ownership of the Hidden treasures found in the property;

i. Right to Exclude others; and

j. Right to Fence the property.

  1. Naked ownership refers to ownership where the right to use and the fruits has been denied
  1. Sole ownership refers to ownership which is vested to only one person.
  1. Co-ownership refers to ownership rights to own a whole property together with the others and at the same time owner of an aliquot part thereof. Co-ownership defined by law as:

Art. 484. There is co-ownership whenever the ownership of an undivided thing or right belongs to different persons.x x x

 What are the characteristics of ownership?

  1. It is a general right over all utilities of a thing subject to the limitations of real rights of others.
  2. It is an independent right since it can exist without the necessity of any other right.
  3. It is an abstract right because it can exist distinct and independent of its constituent parts.
  4. It is an exclusive right for there can only be one ownership but there may be two or more owners.
  5. It is generally a perpetual right and is not usually limited by time and may last as long as the thing exists.
  6. It is an elastic right since the power included therein may be reduced in quantity or quality without affecting the nature of the dominion.

What are the types of estates?

  1. Freehold Estate- which indicates title of ownershipFee simple-absolute title
  2. Fee tail-one designed to pass title from the grantee to his heirs/ the intent of the grantor being to keep the property in the grantee’s line of issue
  3. Life Estate-one held for the duration of the life of the grantee
  4. Less-than-freehold estate-a right short of title
  5. Estate for years- in the nature of lease
  6. Tenancy from period to period
  7. Tenancy at will

What are the essential requisites of tenancy relationship?

  1. The subject matter is agricultural land
  2. The parties are the landowner and the tenant
  3. There is consent
  4. The purpose is agricultural production
  5. There is personal cultivation by the tenant
  6. There is sharing of harvest between the parties


Art. 484. There is co-ownership whenever the ownership of an undivided thing or right belongs to different persons. In default of contracts, or of special provisions, co-ownership shall be governed by the provisions of this Title. (392)

  What are the rights of co-owners?

  1. There is no co-ownership when the different portions owned by different people are already concretely determined and separately identifiable, even if not yet technically described.

 Art. 493. Each co-owner shall have the full ownership of his part and of the fruits and benefits pertaining thereto, and he may therefore alienate, assign or mortgage it, and even substitute another person in its enjoyment, except when personal rights are involved. But the effect of the alienation or the mortgage, with respect to the co-owners, shall be limited to the portion which may be allotted to him in the division upon the termination of the co-ownership. (399)

2. A co-owner may sell his right over an undivided portion to the extent owned by him. If the co-owner sells the whole property as his, the sale will affect only his share but not those of the co-owners who did not consent to the sale. No co-owner is obliged to remain in the co-ownership and the co-owner may demand at anytime partition of the thing owned in common.

Art. 1612. If several persons, jointly and in the same contract, should sell an undivided immovable with a right of repurchase, none of them may exercise this right for more than his respective share. The same rule shall apply if the person who sold an immovable alone has left several heirs, in which case each of the latter may only redeem the part which he may have acquired. (1514)
Art. 1514. A person to whom a document of title has been transferred, but not negotiated, acquires thereby, as against the transferor, the title to the goods, subject to the terms of any agreement with the transferor. If the document is non-negotiable, such person also acquires the right to notify the bailee who issued the document of the transfer thereof, and thereby to acquire the direct obligation of such bailee to hold possession of the goods for him according to the terms of the document. Prior to the notification to such bailee by the transferor or transferee of a non-negotiable document of title, the title of the transferee to the goods and the right to acquire the obligation of such bailee may be defeated by the levy of an attachment of execution upon the goods by a creditor of the transferor, or by a notification to such bailee by the transferor or a subsequent purchaser from the transfer of a subsequent sale of the goods by the transferor. (n)
Art. 1884. The agent is bound by his acceptance to carry out the agency, and is liable for the damages which, through his non-performance, the principal may suffer. He must also finish the business already begun on the death of the principal, should delay entail any danger. (1718)

  3. The right of repurchase may be exercised by a co-owner to the extent of his share alone. Stated in the preceding articles are the right of redemption/pre-emption.

Art. 1623. The right of legal pre-emption or redemption shall not be exercised except within thirty days from the notice in writing by the prospective vendor, or by the vendor, as the case may be. The deed of sale shall not be recorded in the Registry of Property, unless accompanied by an affidavit of the vendor that he has given written notice thereof to all possible redemptioners. The right of redemption of co-owners excludes that of adjoining owners. (1524a)

 What is diverse co-ownership?

Diverse co-ownership is when benefits are assorted to different kinds such as to different owners or shareholders in a corporation.

What are surface, subsurface and air rights?

  1. Land, in its legal significance, extends from the surface downwards to the center of the earth and extends upwards indefinitely to the skies
  2. The surface and subsurface rights of an owner entitle him to construct thereon any works or make any plantations and excavations without detriment to servitudes and special laws.
  3. Air right is the right of an owner to use and control the air space over his land subject to the requirements of navigation, laws or contract.

What is the right to accession?

  1. The ownership of property gives the right by accession to everything which is produced thereby, or which is incorporate or attached thereto whether naturally or artificially.
  2. With respect to the produce of the property, to the owner belongs the natural fruits (spontaneous products of the soil), industrial fruits (those produced by land by cultivation or labor) and civil fruits (the rental income of buildings and lands)
  3. With respect to immovable properties, the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers belongs the accretion that they gradually receive from the effects of the current of the water. The owners of estates adjoining ponds, lagoons do not acquire the land left fry by the natural decrease of the waters or those lost in extraordinary floods.
  4. Whenever a river, changing its course by natural causes, opens a new bed through a private estate, this bed shall become of public dominion.

What are the kinds of accession?

  1. ACCESSION DISCRETA or the rights pertaining to the owner of a thing over everything which is produced thereby such as natural, industrial and civil fruits
  2. ACCESSION CONTINUA or the right pertaining to the owner of a thing over everything which is incorporated or attached thereto either naturally or artificially
  3. ACCESSION INDUSTRIAL or which takes place in case of building, planting or sowing
  4. ACCESSION NATURAL which may be through:
  • ALLUVION or the ACCRETION which lands adjoining the banks of rivers gradually receive from the effects of the current of the river
  • AVULSION or the accretion which takes place whenever the current of a river, creek or torrent segregates from an estate on its bank a known portion of a land and transfers it to another estate

What are the rules on hidden treasure?

Art. 438. Hidden treasure belongs to the owner of the land, building, or other property on which it is found. Nevertheless, when the discovery is made on the property of another, or of the State or any of its subdivisions, and by chance, one-half thereof shall be allowed to the finder. If the finder is a trespasser, he shall not be entitled to any share of the treasure. If the things found be of interest to science of the arts, the State may acquire them at their just price, which shall be divided in conformity with the rule stated. (351a)
Art. 439. By treasure is understood, for legal purposes, any hidden and unknown deposit of money, jewelry, or other precious objects, the lawful ownership of which does not appear. (352)

What is the difference between possession and ownership?

Possession and ownership- Possession may signify outward evidence of title but it is not necessarily the title itself. Ownership refers to the evidence of right over the property. One may possess a property but not own it like in lease or in the case of informal settlers.

Ownership by possession- it is meant as the exercise either by the same person who holds and enjoys the property or material possession. It may also be in the name of the other like symbolic possession which is acquired by the execution of a public instrument

 What is the difference between possession and occupation?

The law requires both possession and occupation for an applicant for an applicant or an original registration.

Possession is the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of a right; it should also include the idea of occupation. To constitute the foundation of prescriptive right under a claim of title, possession must be adverse of in hostility to the true owner. Occupation can be held by another in his name – constructive possession.

What is the rule in case of conflict of possession?

In case of conflict or dispute regarding possession, the rule of preference is as follows:

  • The present possessor shall be preferred;
  • If there are two possessors, the one longer in possession;
  • If the dates of the possession are the same, the one who presents a title;
  • If both possessors have titles, the court shall determine the rightful possessor and owner of the land.


De Leon, H., & De Leon, J. H. (2011). Comments and Cases on Property. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

Tolentino, A. (1999). Civil Code of the Philippines, Vol. II. Quezon City: Central Professional Books, Inc.

The New Civil Code of the Philippines

Waite V. Peterson 8 Phil 449, G.R. No. L-3636 August 29, 1907

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